YouTube picture-in-picture may finally be close to full iPhone support


YouTube picture-in-picture may finally be close to full iPhone support
The long, long wait for YouTube picture-in-picture support for iPhone could be near its end.
Graphic: YouTube

YouTube might be about to follow through on its promise to allow all iPhone users to watch video from its application in a small window while another app is open. The feature is already available for YouTube Premium subscribers, but the testing period expires soon. That suggests picture-in-picture is about to become available for all iPhone users.

When it finally launches, PiP will make YouTube videos easier to enjoy because they’ll allow people to use their iPhone to multitask while also watching.

YouTube in a miniplayer coming soon to all iPhones… maybe

YouTube’s support for iPhone picture-in-picture has come and gone several times. Then, in June 2021, YouTube promised, “We’re starting to roll out PiP for YouTube Premium members on iOS and plan to launch PiP for all US iOS users as well.”

Many months later, the feature is available for Premium subscribers as part of an opportunity to “try out new features that we’re working on,” according to YouTube’s website. But that availability ends February 14. This might be a sign that PiP for all iPhone users might start in mid February.

But it might be delayed instead. YouTube has pushed back the end date for Premium-only access before, according to MacRumors.

Get ready for YouTube picture-in-picture

Currently, when one is watching a YouTube video on an iPhone and switches to another application, the video stops. But in the same situation, rival apps move their video to a small window so the user can continue watching while, for example, sending a text.

Apple TV picture-in-picture.
The Apple TV application doesn’t cut off your video when you leave the app.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

YouTube Premium subscribers can already take advantage of the service’s support for PiP on iPhone. “With Picture-in-picture (PiP), watch YouTube videos in a miniplayer while using other apps,” according to the streaming service. “While you are watching a video, swipe up (or press home) to close the app and watch in a miniplayer.”

While there’s evidence for a mid-February launch, it’s hardly guaranteed. But YouTube did promise the feature is coming to all iOS users.


Daily round-ups or a weekly refresher, straight from Cult of Mac to your inbox.

  • The Weekender

    The week's best Apple news, reviews and how-tos from Cult of Mac, every Saturday morning. Our readers say: "Thank you guys for always posting cool stuff" -- Vaughn Nevins. "Very informative" -- Kenly Xavier.